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In Vietnam, donated organs from brain-dead men save a dozen lives

In Vietnam, donated organs from brain-dead men save a dozen lives

Thursday, January 11, 2024, 19:09 GMT+7
In Vietnam, donated organs from brain-dead men save a dozen lives
A doctor cares for an eight-year-old girl heart recipient following her surgery at the Viet Duc University Hospital in Hanoi. Photo: Supplied

The families of a 25-year-old man in Thai Nguyen Province and a 32-year-old man in Phu Tho Province, both in northern Vietnam, donated the organs of their loved ones after the two men died in separate traffic accidents last week, thus saving a dozen lives.

The 25-year-old was declared brain dead in a road crash at the very beginning of the month while the rest of the world was still celebrating the new year. 

On the same day, P.V.G., 32, from Phu Tho, suffered brain death in the wake of a traffic accident.

Both families decided to donate their organs.

The Hanoi-based Viet Duc University hospital received two hearts, two livers, four kidneys, two windpipes, four corneas, 11 tendon segments, and two iliac veins from the 25-year-old and 32-year-old victims.

Two of the corneas and one liver were transferred to the 108 Military Central Hospital, while the other two corneas were sent to the Central Eye Hospital, both in Hanoi.

The donated organs allowed local hospitals to carry out two additional heart transplant surgeries, four liver transplants, and four kidney transplants, Hung said.

On the same day when the accidents happened to the two men, an eight-year-old girl with dilated cardiomyopathy was awaiting a heart transplant.

She had already been hospitalized three times in the past year due to the disease, said doctor Duong Duc Hung, director of the Viet Duc University Hospital.  

Her 10-year-old brother received a heart transplant for the same disease in 2021.

As of now, he holds the distinction of being the youngest and lightest heart recipient in Vietnam.

The 25-year-old traffic accident victim’s heart was immediately sent to the Viet Duc University Hospital, where it was placed in the eight-year-old’s body. 

The girl has been steadily recovering from the transplant and is expected to return to school in the near future.

According to Dong Van He, deputy director of the Viet Duc University Hospital and director of the National Coordinating Center for Human Organ Transplantation, all of the organ recipients were recovering well and likely to be discharged in the next few days.

In the U.S., 40,000 transplant surgeries are performed each year, but 17 people die each day due to a shortage of organs, He said. 

In South Korea, the number of transplant surgeries carried out annually is 5,000, with five patients dying a day due to a lack of available organs, he added.

According to He, the number of deaths in Vietnam due to a dearth of organs is likely five to six times higher than in South Korea, as Vietnam performs only 1,000 transplant surgeries per year.

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Thanh Ha - Hong Ha / Tuoi Tre News

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